A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
When we completed the route (between 1985 and 1989) it took us nineteen days to walk Offa’s Dyke Path – many more stages than most walkers will use – but then we never did more than five days at a time and, on several occasions, we used long weekends to get in as few as three days of walking after travelling from our home base in London. The journal entries that follow may help you in the planning of your own itinerary. If you want to book your own accommodation then you could start with the b&b guide published by the Offa’s Dyke Association and available at this stellar organization’s website – www.offasdyke.demon.co.uk. There are also a number of specialist outfitters who will do all the booking for you and move your heavy bags on to a new location each day – these can be discovered easily on the Internet.
There also exist a number of useful guidebooks – with the National Trail version (Aurum Press) coming in two volumes: Sedbury Cliffs to Knighton and Knighton to Prestatyn. (One great advantage of such guides is that they contain relevant sections of the Ordnance Survey maps.) Most of the guidebooks to this sea-to-sea route along the Welsh-English border are south to north – but Trailblazer publishes a north to south guide to the 177-mile path.
Though some of the stages are lengthy and many require a good deal of up and down the ODP is not a particularly strenuous route. If you are new to the pleasures of this activity, however, you may want to prepare by having a look at my A Walker’s Alphabet: Adventures of the long-distance footpaths of Great Britain – published in 2010 and available from the publisher at www.authorhouse.co.uk or from www.authorhouse.com or from www.amazon.co.uk or from www.amazon.com.
I look back at our time on this route with great fondness: a lovely countryside never lets you down. You can, incidentally, let me know how you got on by leaving a note on the Contact Page.
Our stages were as follows:
Day 1: Sedbury Cliffs to Bigsweir Bridge – 11 miles
Day 2: Bigsweir Bridge to Monmouth – 8 miles
Day 3: Monmouth to Llangatock-Lingoed – 14 miles
Day 4: Llangatock-Lingoed to Llanthony – 8.5 miles
Day 5: Llanthony to Hay-on-Wye – 11.5 miles
Day 6: Hay-on-Wye to Gladestry – 10.5 miles
Day 7: Gladestry to Beggar’s Bush – 12 miles
Day 8: Beggar’s Bush to Knighton – 8.5 miles
Day 9: Knighton to Newcastle – 8.5 miles
Day 10: Newcastle to Montgomery – 11 miles
Day 11: Montgomery to Welshpool – 9.5 miles
Day 12: Pant-y-Bwch to Four Crosses – 11.5 miles
Day 13: Four Crosses to Carreg-y-Big – 11.5 miles
Day 14: Carreg-y-Big to Chirk – 7 miles
Day 15: Chirk to Llangollen – 9 miles
Day 16: Llangollen to Llandegla – 8.5 miles
Day 17: Llandegla to Llanbedr-Dyffryn-Clwyd – 10 miles
Day 18: Bwlch-Pen-Barras to Bodfari – 8.5 miles